I was chatting to a security guard the other morning who had a copy of Tuesday’s Wigan Post in his hand.
He was questioning the wisdom of tackling raiders who march into a shop armed with a knife and demand cash and tobacco.
You will recall our front page featured brave 73-year-old “paper lad” Malc Horrocks, who thought nothing for his own safety when he realised the shop in Aspull where he works was being raided early on Monday morning.
The assistant’s scream was enough for him to override any concerns for himself and so in he ploughed, immediately scaring off one of the intruders and then doing battle with the other, who also eventually fled but only after he had cudgelled Malc over the head with the knife handle.
Malc likes to think that he gave as good as he got, but he picked up a black eye and gashed elbow, as well as a scalp wound that needed stapling.
If that wasn’t courageous enough, Malc was back at his normal post the very next morning, saying that the last thing he wanted to show these criminals was the white flag.
I can do nothing but salute the man. That doesn’t, however, mean I would be reproving him if he had failed to intervene (Malc’s arrival saved the cashier from possible injury and prevented any money from being stolen, although cigarettes were snatched).
The aforementioned guard said that there are many times when you really shouldn’t be putting yourself in harm’s way. Not only can it not be worth it for what might be stolen or your own personal wellbeing, a have-a-go-hero attitude might also leave other people widowed or without a parent.
I do wonder how I would react in such a situation, and honestly can’t imagine whether flight or fight would kick in when the adrenaline is pumping.
The police advice is not to intervene, but people can also live to regret just standing idly by too.
A tricky one, but unquestionably Malc is the Wigan Post’s hero of the week.